Honey-Roasted Tomato Spread

A glass jar containing savoury roasted tomato spread with a spoonful of roasted tomato spread in the background. The dishes rest on a white tablecloth.

Let’s face it, unless you live in a warm climate year-round winter tomatoes will always be things of underwhelming mediocrity. So what’s the antidote to several months of off-season tomatoes? You take a tried-and-true cooking method like slow-roasting and you add a generous drizzle of honey (and sundried tomatoes just to be sure). Blitzing the slow-roasted honey-coated tomatoes with a few other familiar savoury ingredients results in a spread so full of deep tomato flavour it may as well have been made with tomatoes cut fresh from the vine.

What to do with honey-roasted tomato spread

  • Make a sophisticated yet simple pasta dish: Prepare your favourite pasta noodles as directed, reserving a scant cup of salted pasta water before draining. Add the honey-roasted tomato spread to the hot pasta, using about 2 tablespoons of the spread per serving and thinning it with the pasta water. Top with more chopped olives, fresh oregano or basil, and plenty of good parmesan.
  • Add to grilled cheese: Spread a thick layer of honey-roasted tomato spread onto one half of a grilled cheese as it’s being prepped. Fresh cow or buffalo milk mozzarella, Chèvre Noir (or other aged goat cheddar), and Taleggio are all excellent pairings.
  • Use as a cheese or charcuterie accoutrement: Honey-roasted tomato spread can be used as-is or piled onto a thick layer of labneh or Greek yogurt.
  • In egg dishes: Either use as a topping for eggs or incorporate it directly into omelettes, quiches, and frittatas.
  • With roasted chicken and pork: A spoonful of honey-roasted tomato spread will do wonders to liven up roasted chicken and pork. Alternately, rub the spread directly onto the poultry or meat to infuse it with delicious Mediterranean flavours.
Two spoons resting on a decorative plate. One contains honey-roasted tomato spread the other capers.

Honey-Roasted Tomato Spread

Yields:

1 generous cup of honey-roasted tomato spread

Ingredients:

2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes (or any other small, sweet tomatoes)

8 cloves of garlic, papery skins removed and left whole

1 large sprig of fresh rosemary

2 sprigs of fresh thyme

2 sprigs of fresh oregano

2 Tbsp. olive oil + 2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided

2 Tbsp. honey

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

8-10 kalamata olives, pits removed

1 tsp. capers, in brine or salted and rinsed

2 Tbsp. sundried tomatoes in oil, drained and roughly chopped

Special equipment:

Sharp chef’s knife

Cutting board

Measuring cups and spoons

Roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet

Parchment paper or silicon baking mat

Kitchen tongs

Food processor

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 275° Fahrenheit/135° Celsius.
  2. Line a roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat.
  3. Spread the tomatoes, garlic cloves, rosemary, thyme, and oregano evenly across the roasting pan or baking sheet.
  4. Drizzle the tomatoes, garlic, and fresh herbs with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the honey, and a generous sprinkling of kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper. Use your hands to toss everything together, making sure the oil and honey are evenly distributed.
  5. Roast the tomatoes for 60-90 minutes, gently stirring the contents of the baking sheet with a spatula.
  6. The tomatoes are done once they’ve collapsed and have developed a jammy texture.
  7. Remove the remaining sprigs of fresh herbs and scrape the tomatoes and garlic cloves into a food processor (make sure you get any pan juices, too!).
  8. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive, lemon juice, kalamata olives, capers, and sundried tomatoes. Blitz until the mixture is thoroughly combined, scraping down the sides with a spatula.
  9. Transfer the honey-roasted tomato spread to a sealed container or glass jar and store for up to 2 weeks.

I am a monster, but I am also in love with Austra (they’re no stranger to Music With Dinner). Despite feeling like I’ve taken a swan dive into a drowning pool, I can almost feel the truth of “I don’t feel nothing, anymore.” Everything about this song is my current truth as I’m experiencing it. The energy of this song is frenetic and uncomfortable, the vocals are questioning, searching, resigning. In what feels like several weeks of oscillation between overwhelming sadness and total loss of feeling, the euphonic depth of Austra’s Future Politics is the perfect, darkest cloak to hide behind.

Austra – I’m A Monster

Roasted Tomato and French Lentil Salad

Simplicity is very important to me when it comes to workday dinners and lunches; while I will always have a soft place in my heart for recipes requiring patience and intricacy I am rarely in the mood to even consider them as dinner contenders after a long day of cheese selling. A meal such as this roasted tomato and French lentil salad is quintessentially easy; it’s very hands-off in terms of preparation, it tastes of caramelized summer tomato sweetness (whether you have summer tomatoes or not) and it keeps for up to 3 days in your fridge. The lentils are a speckled sea stone grey backdrop (my first time using French lentils from GRAIN definitely won’t be the last!) for glowing Campari tomatoes that have been roasted until brightly sweet. Campari tomatoes retain their shape better than other varieties I have experimented with although grape tomatoes become deliciously chewy due to their low moisture content. The flat-leafed parlsey is haphazardly cut into the mixture with scissors, creating bursts of roughly shredded spring green with minimal effort while adding a fragrant and clean foil for the roasted Campari tomatoes. This salad can be enjoyed at room temperature or chilled, I especially like devouring a large bowl of it with a glass of well chilled Beaujolais and some strawberries.

roasted tomato and french lentil salad:

1 cup of dried French lentils

7-10 Campari tomatoes, cut in half

An intensely green and fruity olive oil for drizzling

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

1 bunch of flat leaf parsley, cut into smallish bits with scissors

2 shallots, cut into thin half moons

2 lemons, juiced

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Boil the lentils in salted water and begin checking for doneness after 15 minutes, they should be done at this point or may need another 5 minutes. Drain in a colander and rinse with cold water to stop any additional cooking from residual heat. Allow to drain completely.

2. While the lentils are cooking arrange the tomatoes on a baking tray cut side up on parchment or foil. For the roasting part of this recipe the oil doesn’t have to be the fruity olive oil, you can use a lighter olive oil or canola oil. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, the salt will help draw the liquid out of the tomatoes. Roast for 30-40 minutes, you want the tomatoes to be slightly caramelized  when they come out of the oven to ensure maximum tomato sweetness in the salad. Remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature.

3. When the tomatoes are cooled combine in whole pieces with the Puy lentils, shallots, parsley, lemon juice, the extra green olive oil and additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve at either room temperature or chilled for lunch or a light dinner with a cold glass of sweetish red wine and fruit.

Perfect accompaniment: bright and beautiful.

Bibio – Saint Christopher